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Hits CEO Tom Struzzieri Responds to EHV-1 Case in Ocala

Ocala, Florida, USA – March 04, 2021 – After the confirmation of a horse affected by the Equine Herpes Virus EHV-1, the Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of Hits Inc., released a letter addressing exhibitors and the equestrian community in regards to the new calamity that occurred in Valencia and that has drawn a lot of concern from all equine industry stakeholders.

Tom Struzzieri’s letter statement reads the following:

“I wanted to reach out to my customers around the world and give you assurances of the safe environment for both horses and humans at Hits Ocala. As the only USEF sanctioned hunter jumper show in Ocala this winter we have been fortunate to have been given a blueprint from the Federation on the correct protocol to follow to help combat the COVID-19 challenge that is gripping our country. By implementing these standards, which include mandatory mask wearing and no spectators at the events, we are working extra hard to ensure our human clients have a safe show setting.

At the same time we work to keep the environment safe for horses and are pleased at this point to have a safe bio-friendly facility here at Post Time Farm. While there have been reports of sick horses nearby here in Ocala, we have been fortunate enough to have avoided this EHV calamity as of this date. We are actively monitoring the arrival of horses from certain properties and limiting their entering the show grounds. We have a very strong memory of 2013 when Post Time was the facility that proved to be the lightning rod for a run of this very serious virus and believe that we have learned a great deal, as horsemen, from that experience and hope that this prior education helps us as we go forward. For now, help us with following the USEF Protocol:

  • Review and ensure you are prepared for quick implementation of an isolation plan at a competition grounds and/or at your home farm or facility
  • Check your horse’s temperature twice daily and maintain a temperature log (temperature logs are available in the HITS Horse Show Office if you need one)
  • Isolate horses at first signs of symptoms or illness and contact your vet immediately
  • Any horses with a fever about 101.5-102.5°F should isolate in separate facilitates on the competition grounds or at separate veterinary facility off-site
  • Keep separate feed buckets, brushes, rags, and tack/equipment for each horse
  • Ask your veterinarian about appropriate sanitizing solutions
  • Eliminate communal or shared water troughs and buckets
  • Practice hand washing in between handling horses
  • Maintain social distancing for horses; limit nose to nose contact with other horses at the ring
  • Ensure your horse is vaccinated for EHV (Rhinopneumonitis vaccine) in line with GR845

Rest assured that we do not take this responsibility lightly and we have found from our past experiences that even the safest environment can turn out to be a petri dish for this virus to grow, but as gatekeepers of a facility we will be judged by our actions and stand ready to help all of our clients, two legged or four.”

Looking forward in a few weeks to this year’s edition of the Ocala Million, the Richest Class in America.



Tom Struzzieri

Hits will continue working proactively to keep exhibitors informed, and to keep horses safe. Should you have any questions, please contact the Hits Show Office at 352-620-2275 or email us.

As you make your plans to join us for the Hits Ocala Winter Circuit, please be sure to review the USEF Covid Protocol and the Hits Covid Protocol prior to your arrival. If we can answer any questions or provide any additional information as you make your plans for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please do not hesitate to contact us at 352.620.2275 or info@hitsshows.com.

Source: Press release from Hits Horse Shows

Photo: © Hits Horse Shows


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